I'm back!

As awesome as it would be if I did own them, I do not own any rights to Alex Rider or Percy Jackson, just my plot here. That probably won't change for the duration of this book (or my life) either, but we can hope.

I had a dare to delete this story. Don't question it. Lol.

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"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."

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Alex cursed, hissing as his shoulder flared up in pain. He tried to ignore the way his entire body ached as he pulled on his uniform, or the way his entire torso was covered in bruises. He cursed again as he tripped over his alarm clock-his alarm clock which had gone off at three in the morning and consequently ended up in pieces on the floor. That was unfortunate, because he really couldn't afford to buy another alarm clock. He would just have to use his phone and hope he didn't break that too.

Stealing a glance at his phone as he rushed to throw together some resemblance of a lunch, he noticed the time and decided lunch wasn't worth it. Tom would probably disagree, and possibly go on some kind-of a rant about how he needed to eat and if he kept skipping all his meals he was going to starve, but Alex was used to being hungry, skipping one or two meals wouldn't hurt. He pointedly refused to acknowledge the way his cheeks sunk into his face, and the way he could count his ribs, and the way his body was only muscle and lacked any real fat. And besides, it saved money, and in his mind, that was a win-win situation.

He practically tripped over himself in his haste to get out the door, pulling on his socks and shoes, trying to ignore the scar on the sole of his foot that reminded him of just how close he'd been to a fate far worse than death. He grabbed his bike from where he'd dropped it after getting home at one in the morning, too tired to bother putting it away as he stumbled into his house and promptly fell asleep. And, despite the pain in his legs and arms and body, despite being exhausted and hungry (no he wasn't hungry don't think about that) despite all that, he began the long ride to school, pushing on until his whole body ached and wondering if it wouldn't be easier to just give up right now and go home.

He arrived at school ten minutes before his tutor class, giving him just enough time to run to his class and slip in unnoticed to the back of the room. A silent sigh of relief escaped his mouth, he knew that once people realized he was back at school-for the second week in a row-then everyone was going to be staring at him, but at least he could put it off for a few more minutes.

It was practically a miracle that he'd been accepted back a Brookland for another year, a miracle which included late nights, early mornings, and the sheer determination that resulted in mediocre grades, regardless of his near constant absences. He refused to give in to MI6, stubbornly pushing through school to deny them the satisfaction of seeing him completely at their mercy. School was his safe haven, and even if it took him every second of every minute of freedom he had, he would pass his GCSE's.

He flinched when he heard his name called, and it took him a second to realize the teacher was taking roll. In that time, the next name had already been called, the teacher barely even pausing to consider if Alex was actually there, so unusual was it for him to be present two weeks in a row.

"I'm here, sir." He spoke up quietly, barely suppressing another flinch as the whole class turned to stare at him in disbelief. As a spy, it was in his nature to want to melt into the shadows, to avoid attention and blend in with the background. Unfortunately for him, that was practically impossible to do here, at school. No matter how hard he tried, he would never be able to escape the stares-stares which always left him feeling exposed and vulnerable.

The class's attention was, thankfully, stolen by a knock on the door. Mr. Donovan seemed to shake himself as he went to the door, confusion marring his features, until he noticed whoever it was standing there. A bright, friendly smile appeared on his face as he ushered a boy through the door.

Mr. Donovan and the boy had a quick, whispered conversation, and Alex took the opportunity to observe the newcomer. He had messy black hair and a tan that was definitely not from London. The kid was wearing simple jeans and short-sleeved, orange tee-shirt that made him stick out like a sore thumb in the sea of uniformed students. These quick observations didn't strike Alex as particularly odd, new students almost always spent two or three days getting their uniforms. Which in turn, resulted in pretty much everybody knowing who the new kids were the moment they arrived.

No, what Alex found interesting was the way the boy immediately surveyed the room, quickly taking note of any and all exits. He also noticed how the boy seemed to assess the threat level of each person, his eyes-broken, broken eyes-lingering on Alex a tad bit longer than anyone else. Good instincts. A voice whispered in his mind. One of the boy's hands was fingering a wooden bead necklace, while the other was fiddling with a simple ball-point pen. He would've seemed completely relaxed to anyone who wasn't trained to spot it. But Alex could see the way the teen poised himself, slightly tensed, prepared to defend himself the moment the need arose. Almost as if he expected to be attacked at any moment.

Alex filed all this information away, turning his attention back to Mr. Donovan as he opened his mouth to introduce the new student. "Students, this is Percy Jackson. He will be joining this class for the rest of the year, so I hope you can make him feel welcome. Percy has a service dog, Shelly, who will also be joining this class." He paused for a moment, waiting until he had everyone's full attention, before continuing, "I do not want to hear of anyone petting, playing with, or even touching Shelly without explicit permission from Percy. She is a service dog, and her attention should be on her handler at all times. Secondly, Percy is in no way obliged to reveal why he has a service dog, so do not ask. Furthermore, should I get any reports of Percy being harassed, or of students petting his dog without permission, there will be serious repercussions. Am I understood?"

"Yes, sir." The entire class responded obediently. Mr. Donovan nodded at Percy, gesturing to the door, where, Alex assumed, his dog was waiting.

"Heel, girl." Percy's gentle, but firm command sounded throughout the room. The students observed with open curiosity as a large German Shepherd padded into the room, immediately taking up her position on Percy's left side. She wore a red and black vest with the words: SERVICE DOG, DO NOT PET, in big, bolded letters. The vest had a couple of other patches that read things like, PTSD SERVICE DOG, NOT ALL WOUNDS ARE VISIBLE, and PLEASE DON'T PET ME, I'M WORKING.

Percy had PTSD? Interesting. He filed away that information with the other info, wondering what had caused it, before deciding that, No. That's none of my business. If Percy wanted to talk about it, then he could. Until then, Alex would leave him alone. He knew all to well about wanting privacy, and he had no right to go and force people to give away all their secrets.

Unless, of course, they're a megalomaniac trying to take over the world. Then he was all for making them spill their secrets.

"Percy, is there a seat you would prefer, or?" Percy smiled gratefully.

"I'm good, I'll just sit in the back, thanks." His voice was impossibly quiet, and he gave an almost imperceptible flinch when Mr. Donovan raised his hand to gesture towards the class. Alex almost groaned as he saw Percy move towards the back, Shelly right by his side. He held himself confidently, as if to say, I've walked through hell, seen my fate, and excepted it. It was, to say the least, unnerving, as Alex had never met any other teenage who carried themselves with that demeanor.

"Hey, can I sit here?" Percy motioned to the seat right next to Alex. The one everyone else had purposefully avoided, because, Oh no! I don't want to sit next to Alex Rider! It was kind-of an unspoken rule that, when he was here at least, Alex sat in the corner. And nobody was going to be caught dead sitting next to the 'druggie.' The moment Percy approached Alex, alarm bells started going off in his head. His instincts screamed DANGEROUS!, and DO NOT ENGAGE!, and he had the distinct feeling that if he and Percy were to get in a fight, he would not be the one coming out on top. But despite all of that, he nodded, and he couldn't help but like Percy when he ignored the disbelieving stares being directed his way, and promptly sat down.

Alex ducked his head to avoid talking to Percy. He was sure that in a few days Percy would be told of his 'habits' and would promptly choose to sit anywhere else, to avoid sitting next to the 'druggie,' and, no matter how he acted on the outside, that realization hurt. There were very few people Alex knew and trusted, and even fewer of them knew the full extent of Alex's lifestyle. The only person at school who knew, was Tom Harris, and although Alex longed to tell him everything-to tell him how he couldn't step outside without first checking for threats, couldn't turn all his lights off at night, couldn't even accept a small gesture of friendship without first checking for an ulterior motive-he knew Tom would never really understand.

He was, by far, the best friend Alex could ever have asked for. Standing by his side, even when it made him an outcast at school. Gently nudging Alex, and pressuring him to eat when he forgot to do so himself. Catching him up on school, and staying up for hours to explain subjects when Alex couldn't understand them. Never pressuring him to say anything he didn't want to say, but always being there when he did speak. Never making false promises because he knew how much Alex hated it when people lied to him, because his whole life was one big lie. But instead just being there and reassuring him that he wasn't going anywhere. By now, Tom was more like a brother, than a best friend. But there were still some things he just couldn't understand. Some things Alex couldn't bring himself to say.

And it hurt, when he came to school and his ex-best friends avoided him. When the teachers who used to look at him with pride each day, now looked at him in disbelief if he showed up at school two-weeks in a row. How his teammates refused to play football with him, even though he used to be the best player on the team. How everybody in this damn school seemed determined to make his life hell. And how pretty much everyone was sure he was on drugs or in a gang or in juvie. And he couldn't do a damn thing about it. It made him want to scream at how unfair it all was. Want to rant about how it isn't his fault and it isn't fair and hope that maybe somebody would care enough to at least leave him alone (even though he doesn't really want to be alone because he's always alone and nobody cares nobody...). But he knows it would be useless, so he keeps his thoughts to himself and quietly excuses himself whenever the going gets too tough.

Mr. Donovan was making some announcements that Alex was confident he already knew, so he turned his attention back to the boy on his left. Percy had issued a simple command, something like "Down, girl." And now his dog, Shelly, was sitting curled up by his side in the isle. One of Percy's hands rested on her head, as if to reassure himself that she was still there, while his other hand was tapping the desk in what Alex was pretty certain was Morse code.

Sure enough, Percy was tapping out a simple pattern, saying the same phrase over and over again, Together, never alone. Together, never alone. Together…Before he had any time to ponder what that meant, to wonder what it would be like to be (together, not alone because he's always alone and he doesn't want to be alone anymore) the bell rang, and he found himself heading off to his first lesson, all thoughts of Percy banished as his attention was turned to far more important things. Like, say, passing his science test.

I hate Mondays.

This is my first story, so I will probably end up revising, and rewriting it in the end. If anyone sees any spelling mistakes, or anything they think I could improve, I would love to hear about it. I also have no idea where I'm going with this, so suggestions are welcome. I'm not British, I might make some mistakes about how the school system works, and my characters may have a distinct American accent, but I'll try my best.

This is a Percabeth story, but I'm not very 'romantic' in my writing, so don't expect any sweet, lovey-dovey stuff from my stories. Ever. I have no idea how to write that, so I'd probably butcher it anyway. Also, I don't know if Alex will have a love interest, if he does, it will be mild, and it will not be Tom, Ben, anyone in K-Unit, or Yassen. He probably won't.

This story is mostly going to focus on his transition from spy, back into a semi-normal schoolboy, and how he recovers from PTSD. Or, not really recovers, because I don't think you can ever fully recover if you see some of the stuff he would've seen, but how he works through it. How he learns to trust again, and how he learns to open up, because, especially for a teenage spy who has been lied to, manipulated, abandoned, and abused (Because what MI6 did to him was abuse) by pretty much every adult in his life, he's going to have a VERY hard time trying to talk to people. Trying to learn to trust that they don't have an ulterior motive for doing stuff for him. Alex is a person who would probably spend the rest of his life looking over his shoulder in case of an assassin. I'm going to try and be realistic about that.

And, this takes place after Tartarus, so Percy is, almost definitely suffering from severe PTSD himself. He literally went through hell. He's not going to come out of that unscathed. I think I might give him and Alex a brotherly relationship that tries to show him helping Alex with his PTSD. And, I really, truly think its completely implausible that Percy and Annabeth would ever break up, because they literally promised they would be together FOREVER. And, Percy literally fell into hell for her. So don't try and make them break up. It won't happen.

Reviews are always welcome. I'll try to update at least once every week or so. I may, or may not be consistent, so I apologize in advance. And I won't always have really long author's notes. Don't worry. This is a (probably) one time thing. I will also never publish a 'non-update' chapter where I talk to you about random stuff, because, let's just be real, we all hate that. Or, at least, most of us hate that.